midstream

In summer 2011, executives at super-major ExxonMobil were telling financial analysts during a quarterly earnings conference call about an amazing 70% boost in a year’s time of the energy giant’s unconventional natural gas-weighted portfolio to 76 Tcfe. The reason was simple, according to David Rosenthal, the current controller at ExxonMobil and at the time its investor relations chief. He summed it up in three letters, X-T-O.

The price of oil may have fallen to its lowest level in six years, but this “price shock” is different than the 2008-’09 variety, according to analysts at Pace Global.

“The current low-price situation is likely to persist for several years unless geopolitical events shift the market psychology from one of surplus to one of shortage,” Jim Diemer, vice president and head Pace Global-Siemens’ Energy Consulting Company, told PG&J.

Northeast Utilities, which operates New England’s largest energy delivery company, has become Eversource Energy. All of the company’s subsidiaries, including Connecticut Light and Power Co., NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, Public Service Co. of New Hampshire, Western Massachusetts Electric Co. and Yankee Gas Services Co. have begun operating under the Eversource brand.

The company serves more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and employing a workforce of more than 8,000 New Englanders.

You already know that Houston is the energy capital of the nation, most likely the world. But did you know that Houston is also the violent bank robbery capital of the nation with no close second?

Russia is the second-largest producer of dry natural gas and the third-largest liquid fuels producer in the world, and these products are inextricably intertwined with its government. State-controlled company Rosneft dominates oil production while Transneft owns and operates Russia’s oil pipelines.

Gazprom is the country’s dominant gas producer and pipeline operator, and the Ministry of Finance admitted in February that oil and gas royalties, taxes and dividends account for at least 50% of the Russian government’s revenue.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) will provide 2 Bcf/d of natural gas transportation capacity from the the Marcellus and Utica production areas to the Mid- and South-Atlantic regions by the end of 2018 if all goes as planned.

The 300-mile pipeline, a joint venture of EQT Midstream Partners and NextEra U.S. Gas Assets, will run from northwest West Virginia to southern Virginia, extending the Equitrans transmission system to Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company’s compressor station in Pittsylvania County, VA. EQT Midstream will operate the pipeline and own a majority interest.

With the continuing expansion of natural gas development in shale plays across the nation, pipeline infrastructure continues to be built out, with product making the trek from source points to downstream consumers. However, not every end-user has access to affordable natural gas yet.

Are your company’s business systems connected in any way to the industrial control systems (ICS), including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), which are used to manage the company’s critical infrastructure? If they are, and the best guess is they are, then the ICS/SCADA could be vulnerable to cyberattacks in addition to the business side of the networks.

Developing new natural gas pipeline capacity in the Northeast isn’t easy. Environmental rules are tough, local residents are well-organized, and - in New England in particular - the electricity market structure is not, shall we say, pipeline development-friendly.

ExxonMobil’s 2015 energy forecast posits natural gas as the fuel with the most demand growth between now and 2040, overtaking coal as the second most popular energy source with a 65% gain vs. its 2010 levels. By the end of the period, the report predicted more than 125 Bcf/d will be shipped by LNG or inter-regional pipeline.

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